Thales Participates in European Security Research Project
Tuesday, November 26, 2019 | Comments

Thales took an active role in OPENQKD, the European research project that will set up quantum communication infrastructures in several European countries. Thales has been an active participant in quantum technology research for several years.

The company’s research centers are working on subjects ranging from quantum sensors and quantum measurement instruments to quantum communications, as well as various building blocks of quantum computers.

The European Commission decided to conduct and fund the OPENQKD project, the forerunner to a major European quantum communication infrastructure. Its primary objective is to drastically strengthen security for critical applications in telecommunications, finance, healthcare, electricity supply and public services.

In a subsequent phase, it will support the networking of quantum computers, which heralds a new type of internet. Budgeted at €15 million (US$16.5 million), this is the only project of its type in the world. The consortium led by AIT is composed of 38 companies and research organizations across the continent as partners.

OPENQKD’s main goal is to create and test European components of communication networks that include quantum devices to implement applications such as quantum key distribution (QKD). The keys generated by QKD provide ultra-secure encryption to transmit data with a high level of confidentiality.

Thales is making two main contributions to this project. The first entails providing encryption equipment compatible with QKD for terrestrial networks, with the aim of creating a European center of expertise in this area. Secondly, Thales will define the space segment of a quantum communication network, because these types of networks will need satellites to provide coverage across entire countries or continents.

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